The Bureau of Land Management's Comprehensive Animal Welfare Program is a proactive program for protecting the welfare of wild horses and burros under the agency's management and protection. The BLM is committed to protecting animal welfare and providing humane care and treatment to all wild horses and burros protected by the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.
The CAWP formalizes standard operating procedures surrounding animal care and handling; establishes formal training programs in animal welfare for BLM personnel, partners and contractors; and implements internal and external assessments for all activities undertaken in the Wild Horse and Burro Program. The program areas covered under the CAWP are:
- On the Range
- During Gathers
- Off-Range Corrals, Transportation, and Adoption/Sale Events
- Off-Range Pastures
- Following Placement into Private Care
What is "Comprehensive"?
Comprehensive means the standards for humane handling and compassionate care apply to all management activities undertaken by BLM staff, partners, contractors and volunteers. This includes activities on public lands, in BLM and contracted facilities, and during transportation. Comprehensive also describes the program's approach, which includes establishing standards, providing training, collecting data, assessing results and recommending changes.
What is "Animal Welfare"?
Animal welfare is the physical and psychological well-being of animals and how they are coping with their environments. Animal welfare science considers three aspects of the animal’s physical and psychological state: body, behavior and mind. The body includes heath and function, nutrition, growth freedom from injury and disease. The mind includes emotional states, pleasure, suffering and fear. The behavior includes innate and learned characteristics and behaviors, and needs of being a horse or burro.